Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Olivia Robinson

Olivia Robinson, University of Glasgow, School of Law

Research interest: Roman Law generally, with a particular interest in Roman criminal law.

Recent Publications: Critical Studies in Ancient Law, Comparative Law and Legal History (2001); The Criminal Law of Ancient Rome (2001)

"Early Roman criminal law is both obscure and hotly debated. We only begin to approach reasonable probabilities around 200 BC, the period from which contemporary evidence - Plautus, Cato, and others - survives. Criminal procedures of the period comprised the domestic jurisdiction of the paterfamilias, private criminal actions, the exercise of their powers by the resviri capitales (minor magistrates with police functions), and the jurisdiction of the assemblies of the people, i.e. trials before one of the comitia. In the year 207 BC the Senate ordered a special commission, a quaestio, to investigate the conduct of certain Italian allies arising from the Second Punic War, and such commissions were relatively common in the second century, supplementing the comitial jurisdiction. However, when in 171 BC the provincials of Spain asked the Senate for redress against their governors, the Senate ordered the praetor to whom the Spains had been allotted to appoint recuperatores from among the Senate, but this was a procedure of the private law without a penal element. Then in 149 BC the lex Calpurnia was passed, concerned not only with reparation but also punishment; it established a permanent court of senators as sworn jurors to deal with claims of provincial extortion."

Contact Information:
University of Glasgow, School of Law
5-9 Stair Building, The Square
Glasgow, Scotland, G12 8QQ, United Kingdom
TEL: 0141 330 4507, FAX: 0141 330 4900